Butter is the featured ingredient in this family of rich, tender cookies, which includes crisp shortbread and crumbly teacakes.
By our definition, butter cookies are simple, showing off the most basic baking ingredients ― butter, sugar, and flour ― to their very best advantage. In this chapter, you'll find several types of butter cookies, from crumbly, toasted shortbread, to light, powdered sugar-dusted tea cakes, also known as "meltaways" or "wedding cakes." All of the cookies in this chapter have a rich buttery flavor that makes them perfect for savoring, either on their own or with a cup of tea.
• Expect the dough mixture for shortbread and tea cakes to look dry and crumbly before it comes together.
• If the dough becomes sticky as you work, chill it until firm but still pliable.
• A food processor is an easy way to mix these kinds of doughs. If you use a standing electric mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment.
• If mixing by hand, use a sturdy wooden spoon or your hands to mix until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the butter mixture.